MANILA — The Department of Science and Technology on Friday said that the community arm of the virgin coconut oil (VCO) clinical trials for COVID-19 will be done by next month.
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said during a virtual briefing that they are still waiting for official scientific reports from the teams handling the clinical trials but one of the two arms is set to finish soon.
“Yung sa severe and moderate (patients) sa PGH (Philippine General Hospital) kakaumpisa pa lang. Yung sa so-called probables na mga asymptomatic na nakaconfine ginagawa natin yan sa Sta. Rosa Hospital,” De la Peña said of the two locations for the clinical trials.
(The trial involving severe and moderate patients at PGH has just started. But for probable patients who are asymptomatic the trial is being done at Sta. Rosa Hospital.)
The DOST earlier announced that the hospital arm of the study will be done in PGH while the community arm will involve suspect and probable COVID-19 cases quarantined at the local government center or the local hospital. The latter is being facilitated by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute.
VCO is among a number of natural remedies being studied by the DOST as possible adjuvant or supplement for COVID-19 patients.
De la Peña said the trial in Laguna has 56 volunteers.
“Of that number around 38 or 40 tapos na sila. So we are just finishing the 28-day trial for the remaining that will end on Oct 16. After that gagawa na ng report,” he said.
(Of that number around 38 or 40 are done. So we are just finishing the 28-day trial for the remaining that will end on Oct 16. After that, the report will be done.)
The Science Secretary said all of the volunteers have returned home, implying that they did not contract COVID-19.
Meanwhile, he said the DOST’s Lagundi clinical trial already received the necessary approvals.
“Baka ngayon nagsisimula na sila kas last week recruitment and screening na ng volunteers,” he said, adding that it will be done at the Quezon Institute Quarantine Center, the PNP-NCR Community Quarantine Center and Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila.
De la Peña said the clinical trial for another traditional herbal medicine called Tawa-Tawa is still waiting for ethics board and FDA approval.